Protecting Your Super FAQs

New changes explained and what you need to do

Protecting Your Super

At Australian Ethical, we understand superannuation can be confusing, especially at a time when there are changes. We want to make things as easy as possible for you to keep up to date with new legislation that will start on 1 July 2019.

These changes are being introduced by the Government as a measure to ensure your hard-earned savings for retirement are protected.

Some people hold duplicate accounts (in super and insurance), which means these people are paying duplicate fees in different funds. As part of this reform, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will be reuniting small inactive balances and consolidating the accounts of these members.

Insurance changes – FAQs

Why was the Protecting Your Super legislation brought in?

The Protecting Your Super legislation was introduced to protect your superannuation savings.
The aim is to stop unwanted insurance premiums and disproportionately high fees from eating away at your superannuation balance, especially for those people with more than one super account.

What’s included in the changes?

The legislation makes the following changes:

  • From 1 July 2019, exit fees will be banned to remove any barriers to consolidating your accounts
  • Administration and investment fees and costs will be capped at 3% for balances under $6000
  • Insurance will be cancelled on accounts that have been inactive for 16 months, unless you have opted-in to keep your insurance or made a payment such as a contribution or a roll-over
  • Inactive low balance accounts (under $6,000) will be transferred to the ATO so they can attempt to consolidate those amounts with your active accounts.

When are the changes effective from?

The changes below will start from 1 July 2019.

  • Anyone who has been inactive for 16 months at 1 July 2019, and hasn’t opted in to keep their insurance will have their cover cancelled.
  • Exit fees will also be removed from 1 July 2019.
  • Capping of administration and investment fees and costs will apply to eligible accounts as at the next review date, or on exit.
  • Inactive low balance accounts at 30 June 2019 will be transferred to the ATO by 31 October 2019 (unless they stop being inactive low balance accounts before the transfer happens).

What are the changes to insurance inside super?

Insurance on inactive accounts will start being cancelled from 1 July 2019, unless you tell us you’d like to keep your cover. If you’d like to keep your insurance active, all you need to do is opt-in before 1 July 2019.

What is an inactive account for insurance purposes?

Your account may be defined as inactive if no money (contribution or roll-over) has been received for a continuous period of 16 months.

How much are my insurance premiums?

The communications you’ve received from us includes your annual insurance premiums. Alternatively, you can click on the menu button > Super and pension > LOGIN, to log into your account through our member portal to see your insurance premiums online.

What do I need to do to keep my insurance active?

All you need to do is opt-in to keep your insurance. The communication we sent you tells you exactly what you need to do.

In case you’ve lost the communication we sent, if you’d like to keep your insurance active, all you need to do is
download the opt-in form
, fill it in and send it back to us before 1 July 2019. You can find the form on our website under Super > Forms.

Once you’ve let us know you’d like to keep your insurance, it won’t be cancelled – even if your account stays inactive but you have enough money to maintain the cover.

Alternatively, to keep your account active you can make a contribution or rollover at least every 16 months.

What if I lost the communication you sent me but I want to keep my insurance cover?

In case you’ve lost the communication we sent, if you’d like to keep your insurance active, all you need to do is
download the opt-in form, fill it in and send it back to us before 1 July 2019. You can find the form on our website under Super > Forms.

Am I able to opt-in over the phone?

Unfortunately we won’t be able to accept your opt-in request over the phone. The communication we sent you tells you the different ways you can opt-in.

What can I do to make sure I don’t lose my insurance cover in the future?

Once you’ve opted-in to keep your insurance, it won’t be cancelled unless you don’t have enough money in your account to keep your cover.

Will you contact me again if I’m at risk of having my insurance cancelled in the future?

We’ll always contact you if you’re at risk of losing your insurance cover so that you can tell us what you’d like to do.

I didn’t ask for insurance – can I get a refund?

Unfortunately we can’t provide you with a refund on your insurance premiums. Since 2013, as part of the Government’s Stronger Super reforms, legislation requires super funds to automatically provide a level of insurance to members on an opt-out basis. Therefore, Australian Ethical Super provides three units of default (or automatic) Death and Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD) insurance to all our members.

This is outlined in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) you received at the time of joining. The current PDS and other communications can be found on our website at australianethical.com.au/super/pds/

We also recommend you read our Insurance Guide for definitions and further information at australianethical.com.au/insuranceguide/

You can view your insurance cover online through the member portal.

Can I still opt-out of, vary or cancel my insurance in the future?

Opting-in to maintain your insurance doesn’t affect your rights to cancel or apply for changes to your cover in the future. If you’d like to cancel or make changes to your insurance, you can:

If you opt-out or cancel your cover, we’ll cancel it effective from the date we receive your written opt-out request or when you make the request though the online member portal.

If you later decide to apply for cover, you’ll need to provide evidence of good health and be assessed by our insurer.

We recommend you speak with a financial adviser about your insurance needs before making this important decision.

I’ve made a TPD claim – do I still need to opt-in?

If you’ve lodged a Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD) claim with us and your account has been inactive for 16 months, there’s a risk that your insurance (including any Death or Income Protection cover you may have) will be cancelled if you don’t opt-in.

If you want to maintain the benefit of your insurance with us, please consider opting in.  If you’re not sure what to do, please speak with a financial adviser.

Inactive, low balance – FAQs

What are the changes to Inactive Low Balance accounts?

If your account is an inactive low balance account, it’ll be transferred to the ATO. The inactive accounts will be assessed at 30 June and 31 December and then transferred the following October or April respectively unless your account becomes active again before the transfer month.

Once transferred, the ATO will then attempt to combine that balance into an active super account that you hold.

What is an inactive low balance account?

Your account is defined as inactive low balance if:

    • it has a balance under $6,000 and
    • doesn’t have insurance and
    • no contributions or roll-overs have been made into your account for 16 months and
    • you haven’t made any changes to your investment options, insurance coverage or binding beneficiary nominations for 16 months and
    • you haven’t made an election in the last 16 months to the ATO to not have your account transferred.

What do I need to do to keep my account open?

To keep your account open, you’ll need to make sure it’s not considered to be an inactive low balance account. To prevent this, you can make a payment (contribution) to your account or roll-over another super balance into this account.

Your employer can make payments through Bpay, but you’ll need to consider any contribution caps that apply.

Alternatively, log in through our member portal at australianethical.com.au/client-login > LOGIN  to make an investment strategy switch, make a variation to your insurance cover or, make a binding beneficiary nomination.

You’ll also be able to opt out of the transfer. The process for this is being finalised with the ATO.

How can I make a payment to my account?

Payments can be made from an employer or through Bpay. Your Bpay details can be found on the Personal Details page of the member portal or on your annual statement.

How much do I need to contribute to my account?

There is no minimum amount for contributions. You can contribute as much as you like, subject to current contribution caps and eligibility.  Please refer to ato.gov.au for information about contribution caps.

How can I consolidate my other super funds into this account?

On the Find My Super page in the member portal, you’ll be able to search for any other super accounts then select the accounts you’d like to consolidate.

How can I transfer my balance out of this account into my other super fund?

You’ll need to contact your preferred fund for assistance with submitting the transfer request.

Before rolling over to another super fund, check to see if there are any untaxed elements or if any fees or charges will be deducted, and whether you lose any insurance cover because of the rollover.

What can I do to make sure I don’t have my account closed in the future (low balance transfer to ATO)?

Your account won’t be at risk of being transferred to the ATO if you have enough money in your account (more than $6,000) and it’s considered to be active.

To keep your account active you need to do one of the below:

    • apply for and be accepted for insurance cover on your account
    • make a payment or roll money into your account
    • change your investment option by making a switch
    • make a binding beneficiary nomination
    • write to your fund to let them know you would like to stay in the fund.

Fee changes – FAQs

What are the changes to fees?

From 1 July 2019 there’ll be no exit fee when you leave a superannuation fund and no exit fee for any partial withdrawals.

From 1 July 2019 administration and investment fees and costs will be capped at 3% per fund financial year for balances less than $6,000 as at the annual review or when you exit the fund. Any amount in excess of this cap will be refunded.

Are my fees over 3%?

From 1 July 2019, a fee cap will be applied to balances below $6000.

The fees that are capped are administration and investment fee and costs (which also include indirect costs). Our fees are set out in the PDS and are shown as dollar and percentage based fees.

Fees that aren’t capped include buy/sell spreads, insurance premiums and other activity fees, such as investment switch fees (if applicable) and family law fees.


We’re here to help

If you’re unsure of what to do, call us on 1300 134 337, Monday to Friday 9am-8pm (AEST) or email us at members@australianethical.com.au